Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Flight Attendants (2009)

Directed by Will Ryder
Starring Sunny Lane, Lexi Love, Eva Angelina, Teagan Presley, Misty Stone
Rated XXX
USA

"I'm the senior flight attendant, not the handjob police."

In the grand tradition of jet-centric sex comedies like The Stewardesses, Pacific Banana, Stewardess School, View from the Top, and Party Plane - to say nothing of the Airplane! Series - Flight Attendants tells the well-worn tale of a down-on-its-luck airline that rallies the troops by shortening skirts and offering a more (ahem) full-service flight. In this case, it's Global Airlines that needs the publicity boost. Seems that one of their planes took a nosedive in a Florida swamp, and all 120 passengers - with one exception - were eaten by alligators. Naturally, people began to flock to their competition, Transcom Airlines, and now Global is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Their solution is to hire two poster girls, train them as stewardesses, and send them out on the publicity trail. The first new Face of Global is Lucretia (Misty Stone), an unwed, unemployed mother of five who scored a juicy 15 seconds of fame when, during a campaign stop, she asked the President of the United States himself for a job.

Face number two is Kelly (Kayden Kross), a former Miss America contestant who happened to be the sole survivor of the Florida crash. She was mangled in the accident and spent the past year having a series of eleven plastic surgeries to fix her monster face. She is hired for the gig before she takes off her bandages, so it's sort of a crapshoot. Luckily, when she does peel off the gauze, she looks...well, like a porn star version of a Miss America contestant. So that worked out well.

The girls undergo a rigorous training session, both in flight attending and various acrobatic sex acts. Meanwhile Wendy (Sunny Lane) and Lisa (Eva Angelina), two snarky stewardesses from rival airline TransCom, plot their downfall. Luckily for Global, they are easily distracted by penis, and never actually get any of their sinister plans off the ground.

Besides, there's a good chance Global will just sabotage itself. The last crash was caused when the pilots - a donut chomping Evan Stone and gravely voiced Randy Spears - decided to double-team a stew in the cockpit mid-flight, causing the aircraft to suddenly tailspin right into the swamp. As the new attendants bravely attempt their first flight, Spears and Stone are up to their old tricks again. Can they wait until they touch ground for their next gangbang, or will they give in to their primal sexual impulses, killing everyone on their plane in the process?

Could go either way.

Director Will Ryder (AKA Jeff Mullen) has been lauded, awarded, and praised to the rafters as of late for saving the slumping porn industry with 80's style parodies like Not the Bradys XXX, Not the Cosbys XXX, and Not Bewitched XXX. These featherlight 'sitcums' offer a humorous, nostalgic alternative to the increasingly brutal gonzo porn market, and harken back to porn's comparatively more innocent days in the 70's and 80's. Hoping to take things up a notch, Flight Attendants is Ryder's attempt to break out of the parody cycle and create a wholly original series. Of course, sexy stewardesses is not exactly a new cinematic concept - half the movies released in 1973 were about sexy stewardesses - but still, a sex comedy with equal doses of sex and comedy is a pretty novel idea in 2009.

So, does it succeed? Depends. On the porn end, it certainly delivers. With a three-hour running time, Flight Attendants is packed, wall-to-wall, with sex: solo-girl, girl-girl, anal, three-ways, the works. Given that we live in the Gonzo Age of porn, it's not surprising that the actors completely drop their characters during the fuck scenes; after all, those are the scenes that actually sell the DVD. Still, it feels a little too disconnected when the hardcore kicks in. The characters are horny goofballs, but their porn personas are all dirty-talking man-eaters who can derive sexual satisfaction just by sucking some dude off and greedily swallowing his goo. That's not really how it works. Goofy girls give goofy blowjobs. But that's a minor quibble, really. If your pants are down, you will not notice.

As far as the funny goes, most of the comedic heavy-lifting is done by the Dana Snyder-y James Bartholet, who vamps wildly as the stereotypical gay stew, and Misty Stone, who milks a 'ghetto' persona for all its worth. So, sex jokes and black jokes, pretty much, plus a steady flow of pop culture references, from Prince to Up the Academy, including many plugs for Ryder's previous efforts. I am aware that Flight Attendants has been called the 'funniest porn film of the year' by more than one critic, but keep in mind that, aside from Ryder's work, there is virtually nothing funny about porn these days. So that's not a huge leap. The game attempts at authentic comedy are certainly there, but they're stymied by too many thinly-written characters and not enough plot to stretch out the non-porn bits. It is funny, but not as funny as it could be.

Still, a very solid fuck-flick, and a definite step in the right direction. Shot on an actual Hollywood set, Flight Attendants looks terrific. Every technical aspect of the production is top notch, and the girls are uniformly gorgeous. A few of them - Sunny Lane, in particular - even show a natural knack for comedic acting. Well worth a look. And a stroke or two, as well.

Adam and Eve's two-DVD set comes jam-packed with extras. Disc one contains the full three-hour feature, a rollicking commentary track from Ryder, and a pile of porn-parody trailers. Disc 2 has an eight-part (!) behind the scenes featurette, cast and crew interviews, and a photo gallery. A very nice package. Pick one up and save the porn industry. Otherwise you'll have to make your own porn, and let's fact it, you have not been to the gym in months.

Click Here to watch the trailer!

- Ken McIntyre

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